Sunday 31 January 2010

Another Block Finished and Flea Market Finds

At our craft group yesterday I finished Block 8 of Verandah Views and have nearly finished the cornerstone blocks as well.  That means I will have to start looking out fabrics to piece it all together.  I still have the label to embroider, but I can continue with that each fortnight when we sit and stitch.


I had to chuckle when I showed this block to Mick.  He read it out and then added “and watch out for snakes”!  He knows me too well.  I’ve always got my eyes peeled, and fortunately haven’t seen any more lately.

I’ve noticed a few blogs with titles “Flea Market Finds” today and thought I might join in.

These few linens are recent purchases for next to nothing.  The house is actually a tea cosy, although it has not padding.  I have plans for this one.


I also have plans for this lovely embroidered doiley.


This peg apron is quite stained and worn, so is just for posterity.  I seem to have quite a few  lots that I have bought “just because”. I like to think of all the use it must have had – probably for wooden dolly pegs on an old “clothes props” clothes line.


The last two came from the Australia Day Red Cross Stall.

Saturday 30 January 2010

Tea Towel Shoulder Bag

Ta Da!  I’ve finished another Tea Towel Challenge project. 

When I visited Jenny’s blog yesterday and saw the lovely diary cover she had made (there is even a tutorial) I decided to finally use my tea towel with the same design on it.


The tea towel was a freebie with Country Style a few months ago.  It was so pretty that I planned straight away to make a bag out of it.  I was just going to make a bag similar to the green supermarket variety, using some other other bits a bobs I had…..but….I dithered around……. I didn’t have quite enough of one fabric, and it all seemed to be just too hard, so I put it away.

As a result of Jenny’s challenge I brought it all out again, but got no further, so ended up making the oven mitt instead.

When I saw how lovely Jenny’s project made up I thought some more and ended up using Jodie’s tutorial for a “One Hour Bag” which fitted onto the tea towel perfectly. 

2010_0130January20100004I tweaked the pattern a bit to add a button and loop and made the strap much longer.  Believe me, being such a ditherer, it took well over one hour to make, but I did make it from start to finish last night……..only to decide this morning that I didn’t like the way the strap had turned out (there wasn’t enough left of the tea towel, so I had originally used the brown floral lining fabric, but the contrast was just too great), so I went and found another fabric from the stash and am much happier with the result. 


The vintage buttons are from the jars that live on Grandma’s treadle machine in our lounge room. 

Once again, I have used what I have, even down to a long thin strip of batting for the strap and is another finish for the OPAM Challenge.

I’m off to my craft group this afternoon, so hopefully I will get some more stitching done then.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Killing Four Birds With One Stone (and Other Goings on)

We’ve been rather busy in the last week.  On the weekend us and friends Norm and Cath headed off to Canberra to visit the National Gallery of Australia for the Masterpieces from Paris exhibition.  They had visited the studios of Monet, Van Gogh and Cezanne last year on their travels, so were eager to visit this rare opportunity to see their works in Australia. You couldn’t take photos, but have a look at the link, many of the paintings are shown.

After the Art Gallery we ventured to Questacon so the boys could play.  (It doesn’t matter that the “boys” were in their 50s, they still had a lot of fun.) I also enjoyed it, especially the “Perception Deception” display.  Quite a bit you could relate to visual effects on some quilts.


Of course, there was also lots of delicious food – Saturday night Italian al fresco in the cool of the evening (after a very hot day).  We had a bit of a wander around and these trees were just stunning.


Sunday saw us visit the Old Bus Depot Markets, but I came away empty handed, which is highly unusual for me and then had a very leisurely drive home.

Yesterday was Australia Day and the Historic Car Club always attends the event hosted at one of the local villages.

 Australia Day

This year it was Rockley.  Each year the local Red Cross  holds a white elephant stall and it is always GOOOD! (It is up there on a par with the Church Fete I love.) We were travelling by sidecar and have a bit of room to take things home…….. well…….four bags of stuff went home in a friend’s car! Oh, the books – great novels, patchwork books and magazines, old linens, bags full of mohair yarn, all at giveaway prices….. I can’t wait to go and visit our friends and collect the booty.  I’ll have to wait till then to show you.

I was trying to be good this year and not buy so much, I haven’t set foot in an op shop, bought nothing at the markets, but I couldn’t just leave it there, now could I?  I’ll have to read the books and then move them on.

I also saw this on the CWA stand.  All Australian tea towel calendars dating back to the early 70s.  It looked great.


We had a lovely day, picnicking in the shade of big old trees and then called in at a little pub on the way home to cool down.

Now, back to those four dead birds.  I made this yesterday:


Challenges met:

1. Made from a tea towel –  Jenny from Elefantz

2. String Pieced – Stephanie from Loft Creations

3. Used what I have – Fiona from Dragonfly Crafts

4. Another OPAM finish for January.

I’m pretty happy with that. 

I’d been dithering as to what to make with a tea towel, I had an idea, but not really happy with it, look on the net for inspiration, still nothing grabbed me, when I suddenly thought of this.  It is a totally different idea from what I had and uses a different tea towel as well.  It now makes a set with my applique tea towel from Jenny’s pattern and I think will make a nice little gift.


Wednesday 20 January 2010

An Offer Too Good To Refuse

When Mick called to say he would be free to have lunch today, who was I to refuse, as this happens very rarely.  We just had a sandwich in Kings Parade in the centre of town.

This is a lovely park, and as locals, I think we take it for granted.


It contains several monuments.  This is the Boer War Memorial, which  celebrated its centenary last week.

It is surrounded by a garden of Peace roses and rosemary.


In the background is the war memorial Carillon, where the Anzac Day Dawn Service is held.

2010_0120January20100008x2The weather was glorious again today as we sat under the shade of a spreading tree, although I think it is going to get quite hot again in the next few days.

Tuesday 19 January 2010

I’m Happy

Mum found some ric rac in her stash that will work for my new tea towel.  I think it does the trick.


It also is Using What I Have (I think using Mum’s stuff counts – she is glad to have it used).  The ric rac is donkeys years old and the only thread I had that matched is also quite old.  I think this could be dated to about 1983, when my first work uniform consisted of a skirt in this colour.  The colour of the thread is probably the more true colour, the other is showing a bit too blue in the photo. I wasn’t that fussed on the uniform colour, as my school uniforms all the way through school were also green.

I forgot to show a photo of the wonderful storm clouds on Saturday afternoon.


We only ended up getting 10mm of good soaking rain.  A lady that lives about 2kms in the direction that this photo is looking towards got 80mm!!  I’m glad we missed that.  What we received was perfect.

Monday 18 January 2010

Twilight Outing

We took “Olga” the old bike out again yesterday for the Historic Car Club’s Twilight Run.  It is always a really well attended outing due to the lovely evenings we have at this time of year. We went out to Ben Chifley Dam, which is Bathurst’s water supply. We were lucky enough to go right into the bowels of the workings of the dam.


At the end of the tunnel we were in, we were about 100m out under the deepest part of the dam, under the green pontoons.


It was a glorious afternoon, no storms (like the last few days), not too hot and postcard perfect. The dam wall was raised about 15 years ago, and has a good catchment.  As you can see, there is still lots of water. 


Bathurst is very, very lucky with this dam and the foresight back then to raise the wall. It is a very popular boating spot, but most other people rarely go out there.  Up until a couple of years ago, it was a real goat track to get in, but now the area is so much nicer.


On Saturday, our little craft group had our first get together for the year.  I finished my kingfisher block of Verandah Views on Friday, so started the next one.  It should be finished fairly soon.


On Thursday I also did this quick and easy applique on a tea towel.  It is Jenny’s latest free design, and very cute. 


I tried to get some ric rac on Friday, but couldn’t find any cotton in a suitable colour, only 100% nylon – not very suitable for a tea towel.  I’ll have a bit more of a scout around through the week and see what I can come up with.

I’m also going to take up Jenny’s January challenge to make something out of a tea towel.  I’d better get a wriggle on with that one.

Also, I’ve signed up for the No Strings Attached Challenge set up by Stephanie and Fiona’s Use What You Have Challenge.  That shouldn’t be too hard, as I have SOOO MUCH STUFF!  The tea towel I used for the applique has been waiting to have something done with it for a few years and the fabric is from the stash.  The pink floral has come from Mum at some stage and has obviously been used for dressmaking.  I’m guessing it is from the 70s.

I also got out Mum’s quilt on the weekend and cut the next couple of borders.  I’ll stitch them on in the next day or so.

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Oh No! Not Already!

There were Easter eggs at the supermarket checkout yesterday!


Can you believe that?

Monday 11 January 2010

First Finish of the Year

Remember these little projects I’ve been making using the op shop linen skirt and four fat quarters that I posted about here?

Well, I’m determined to use as much of the  skirt  and the pink and green fat quarters as I can.  I suppose I’ve actually set myself a little challenge.

This is the latest completed little project. I used Bloom’s tutorial.


There wasn’t enough linen to do the inside flaps of the cover, so I added some of the bright pink fabric.  The lining (which you can’t see) is the white with tiny pink stars.

Surely that would use it all up, but no, I’ve still got this much left, along with lots of tiny bits of linen, the zip and a little bit of selvedge.


I think the set in pockets could be incorporated into the lining of a bag – readymade pockets for keys and phone.  I was thinking of a pincushion for the leftover brights, but I might come up with something else yet.  We’ll see, I may be able to complete a couple more tiny projects….I’ve obviously got too much time on my hands.

It's going to be a scorcher here today, so I'm glad I'll be at work in the air conditioning.

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Ongoing Machine Dramas and Some Hand Stitching

After a few days back at work it is really like we never had a break.  I’m trying to still do a bit of stitching each day. 

I was very lucky on Monday, as my sewing machine was delivered back to me, without an extra trip, which was very handy. Unfortunately, despite being repaired, it still has a slight rubbing noise.  I have decided to buy a new bobbin case for it to see if that will fix the problem.  My machine has had problems in that area all along. 

I decided to have a look for one online, but with no real luck.  I’ll go to the local dealer and see if they can get one in.  What I did find was people commenting on their machines the same as mine.  Quite a few reviews mentioning ongoing problems with the bobbin housing and doing exactly what mine does.  Fancy that!  It isn’t just me.

In the meantime, I have done a bit more hand stitching on Verandah Views in my lunch break. 


I’m just plodding along with this one and do enjoy it when I get to it. This continues to be my project for our craft group get togethers which start up again in a couple of weeks.

I have also started work on a journal cover, but will have to do a bit of a fiddle to make the most of the bit of linen skirt I have left, as there is not enough for the pattern as it is written.  I’ll have fun playing.

Sunday 3 January 2010

Back to Work Tomorrow & OPAM Challenge

Kris has just announced that Peg will be her co-host for the OPAM Challenge this year.  They should be a great team.  Details will be revealed in the next few days and I can’t wait.  It was certainly a highlight of the last year for me.

Tomorrow I’m back off to work.  It has been a lovely break.  Nowhere near as much done as I’d hoped, but quite relaxing, which is the main thing.

Saturday 2 January 2010

My Day

I went for a lovely drive this morning to deliver my sewing machine to the repairman, about an hour from home.  It should be ready early next week. 

It was drizzly and showery all the way.  There wasn’t a lot of traffic and there was only one idiot that I saw.  I had a little chuckle to myself as he was driving a black ute with a sticker on the rear window declaring “Suicide Tendencies”.  Yep, he had that right, the way he was driving!

The weather had cleared a bit for my drive home and this is the view from just up the road from our place.

This is looking to the north. . .


Can you believe that this was totally brown only just over a week ago.  Nature is very resilient.

And, looking to the south east . . .


I had just driven through that short, sharp shower.

We haven’t had much more rain in the last couple of days, mainly just drizzly stuff.  This afternoon was really muggy.  We are not used to humidity in this area.

I forgot to show you a couple of gifts I gave myself just before Christmas.  I love Cath Kidston stuff and hoped to buy a little something while we were overseas, but there is no outlet on the Isle of Man.  I know I can buy on line, but that just isn’t the same.  I did see a magnetic shopping list in a homewares shop in town here last year, but was not paying $30 for it!  As you can imagine, I was quite excited when I discovered Cath Kidston products in Target.  It is only toiletries and cosmetics, but, better than nothing. 


I treated myself to some scented hearts and guest soaps.  Best of all, they were half price.  It doesn’t take much to keep me happy.

My other little treat was discovered in a new shop in Keppel Street in Bathurst.  This street is away from the main shopping centre and has a lovely streetscape.  I must take a photo one day.  This is where I visit to buy the paper and my morning coffee each day on the way to work.  There are lovely specialty shops and cafes and now a new shop, which opened just before Christmas selling vintage and retro wares.  It complements the other shops perfectly.  On the day it opened I peered through the window and saw this . . .


I popped back in my lunch break and snapped it up.  Isn’t it just devine?  I have a short stemmed pedestal and one on a silver stand, both in green, but you just don’t see things like this.  I considered the price to be very fair as well.  There was quite a bit of green depression glass, but I have to be restrained, as I have too much.  Mind you, some pieces were quite unusual.

I think I will be peering through the window quite often, to see what is new. 

They were also unpacking quite a few old dressmaking patterns, but I was strong.

Friday 1 January 2010

Another Year Over, A New One Just Begun….

Oh no!  Another long post . . .

We had a lovely time at the New Year’s Eve party last night.  The weather was windy and looked quite stormy when we arrived, but it soon cleared and the wind dropped, making it just a perfect night to be outdoors, enjoying good food and company.

This morning we had a very leisurely start with French Toast for breakfast on the verandah. 


It is cool and drizzly, so a very pleasant way to start the year.  We do so enjoy our breakfasts like this.  Who needs to go into town to a cafe?

A few flowers have decided to bloom now that we’ve had some decent rain.


I think I’ll have to get some more dahlia bulbs, as they always look so cheerful.


I’ve been in a somewhat reflective mood this morning, reviewing the last year according to “Blog” and wondering where the time has gone.

I have so enjoyed becoming a more active member of the blogging community during the last year.  With all the new BOMs, challenges and swaps announced at the start of the year I decided to take a tentative step at involvement.  I started Red Delicious BOM, but only completed a couple of blocks before deciding it wasn’t for me.  However, I have really enjoyed working on Verandah Views

verandah views

I still have a few blocks to complete, but I know it will happen this year.

Although I have shied away from the bigger Swaps, I have participated in Maree’s Redwork Cushion Swap, both of Jellyware’s Wash Cloth Swaps, the Christmas Fat Quarter Swap and the Christmas Ornament Swap.  This has been a great way to meet new people and make more friends. I was also lucky enough to win two giveaways.  However, my biggest inspiration was the One Project a Month Challenge with about 50 small projects completed in the twelve months. 


I was quite amazed when I counted them up.  The little craft group I’m a member of has also been very enjoyable, as have the couple of workshops I’ve participated in here in town.

But. . . . when you check my side bar, you will see UFOs that have progressed no further and projects that still haven’t been started.  Let’s see if I can make some inroads this year.

So, what about the rest of the year. . . .

Family played a big part, with Dad’s 90th, Mum’s 80th and Mick’s 50th. 


We also had Dad participating in Anzac Day and the Rededication of the local War Memorial.

There were a few minor dramas, with my car being sick at the beginning of the year, then my sewing machine playing up and the iron died.  We had a grass fire next door, Joey our cat was bitten by a snake and Mick killed three brown snakes in the yard.  Mind you, everything ended up just fine, and if that was the worst that happened we were really quite blessed.

We had some weird weather. 


Dust followed by snow in September and then a heat wave in November.

Despite the ongoing drought, we had some lovely flowers in the garden in both autumn and spring and I had a lovely time with my bulbs in pots.


We also harvested some yummy berries and veges.

Our collection of bits and bobs grew with visits to op shops, our local church fete and a few antique stores.


We are seriously running out of space, so I think this habit may have to be somewhat curtailed.

We enjoyed some time on Mick’s bikes.  He got the old BMW on the road and we attended a Classic Rally and went to the Bike Show in Sydney


We also attended a couple of BHCC outings, although not nearly as many as in previous years.

Of course, our year would not be complete without plenty of tripping around. 


We went to open gardens at Crookwell, Millthorpe and Bathurst


We had weekends away to Kiama, Nowra, camping on the Abercrombie and Braidwood.


There were outings to the Bronze Thong, Hill End and the Millthorpe Markets.

The highlight of our travels was, of course, the Isle of Man, where we watched lots of bike races, had a great time playing the tourist and meeting up with Loulee.

Lou & Janice

It was so good to meet her and we hit it off straight away.

Now I realise that although the year has flown, we have actually done quite a bit.  This is despite Mick having an extremely busy year at work and not having much time off.

So what does this year hold?

I don’t like to make New Year resolutions, as I don’t seem to keep them, so it just sets you up for a fall.

In January I revealed my dream of a Sewing Shed in the back yard.

The bike took much longer to finish than anticipated and I don’t know if it will eventuate or not.

We are off to Albany in a couple of months for the Ulysses AGM – riding across the Nullarbor on the new BMW which will be fun. 

I do hope to continue to do quite a bit of crafting.  I noticed that in all the sewing I did last year I did not complete one quilt.  That will definitely have to be remedied this year.

The main thing I hope for in the coming year is health and happiness.  I look forward to continuing to be involved in the blogging community as it is such a friendly and positive thing.

Happy New Year.